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Cheating with pork butt

Jcarter93

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Hey guys,

I'm having a party next Saturday and want to make smoked pulled pork from a 9.38 lb pork butt. What I don't want to do is fuss with the smoker all day before the party. (it's a real crappy one with makeshift vent covers)

I was thinking I could smoke the butt for a couple hours and then transfer to a crock pot to finish cooking. I've heard that after the first few hours smoke doesn't really penetrate anymore.

If I were to do this, how long should I smoke it before doing the crock pot?
What would the drawbacks of this approach be?

Any tips or advice are appreciated.
 

zwiller

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Smoke to completion a few days before, chill, and reheat in the crock day of. LOTS of us do this. In fact, many have vac sealed serving sized pouches of various smoked things in the freezer for times when the mood occurs. Best way to do it IMO. Learned it here too.
 

TNJAKE

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Smoke to completion a few days before, chill, and reheat in the crock day of. LOTS of us do this. In fact, many have vac sealed serving sized pouches of various smoked things in the freezer for times when the mood occurs. Best way to do it IMO. Learned it here too.
And I'll add keep your defatted pork drippings and add back into the pulled pork when you reheat it
 

Jcarter93

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Thanks guys! I guess I can smoke it this weekend and save it. Do you shred it right after smoking or wait until the day of the event?
 

smokerjim

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Your plan would work also with the crock pot, I would smoke it at least 4 hours then finish in the crock pot or oven.
 

schlotz

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There's another approach. Smoke it for 4-5 hours then pull, wrap tightly in alum foil, place in a foil pan then into the oven @ 300º until the IT is approx 205º.
 

thirdeye

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It's actually the smoke ring that stops forming when the surface of the meat is around 140°, you can smoke meat so much that even your dog won't eat it. But you are correct about the center of a pork butt having less flavor. This is why many will use drippings or a finishing rub mixed into the meat.

For speed finishing.... I've never used an actual crock pot to finish a butt, but I've used an electric roaster. They have a circle of heat and do a good job. Most have low settings too, so meat holds well. I've also used a 23 quart pressure canner for butts, all of my pastrami, and some chuck roasts. With the exception of pastrami, neither method is as good as fully barbecued meats but they work in a pinch. And frankly since the butt will have 4 or 5 hours of smoke it will be more flavorful than most people make themselves.
 

DougE

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Dont forget the finishing sauce - that's what carries it over the finish line!
Absolutely. When I first joined SMF, I was a noob to smoking and did a few butts without finishing sauce. Somebody or other convinced me to try adding a finishing sauce after it was pulled. I did, and was immediately converted. I keep a text file of the recipe I use on my phone just in case I need it if I can't get to one of my PCs I have it saved on.
 

jcam222

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I like finishing sauces but I’m a big proponent of serving the vinegar based finishing sauces on the side. I save my drippings as others mentioned to mix back in the pork. I actually run a pan of broth under my butts to have extra drippings and smokey Golden goodness. I’d say at least half my guests devour it just with that mixed in. They often comment how list and tasty it is. Others do like a squirt of that vinegar sauce on the rich pork. I like it both ways. My pulled pork is virtually always pulled after it’s hour east in the cooler, refrigerated and served a day or two later warmed in a roasting pan or crock pot in this manner.
 

DougE

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I like finishing sauces but I’m a big proponent of serving the vinegar based finishing sauces on the side. I save my drippings as others mentioned to mix back in the pork. I actually run a pan of broth under my butts to have extra drippings and smokey Golden goodness. I’d say at least half my guests devour it just with that mixed in. They often comment how list and tasty it is. Others do like a squirt of that vinegar sauce on the rich pork. I like it both ways. My pulled pork is virtually always pulled after it’s hour east in the cooler, refrigerated and served a day or two later warmed in a roasting pan or crock pot in this manner.
Heck, most of the people I serve pulled pork to hose it with so much bbq sauce that that's all they can taste anyhow. I do the finishing sauce mainly for me since that is all I want on it lol
 

GonnaSmoke

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I save my drippings as others mentioned to mix back in the pork. I’d say at least half my guests devour it just with that mixed in...Others do like a squirt of that vinegar sauce on the rich pork.
My wife grew up in the vinegar/pepper zone along the coast of South Carolina so you know what she favors and I will admit that the vinegar does cut the richness of the pork some, but I'm the plain pulled pork guy with no sauce...
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Sorry for the derail J Jcarter93 ...
 

thirdeye

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Heck, most of the people I serve pulled pork to hose it with so much bbq sauce that that's all they can taste anyhow. I do the finishing sauce mainly for me since that is all I want on it lol
I've cooked at an annual Parade Day and Rodeo barbecue for about 20 years and the main meets are 10 to15 butts and 4 or 5 legs of lamb. The meats cook for about 18 hours and are fantastic, but people who like sauce use sauce before even tasting the meat. And if we had a mix of higher end sauces and store bought sauce, the recognized brands went first. I finally figured out that if I took store bought sauce and put my own twist on it, then re-labeled it people paid more attention to the flavor combination of sauce and meat.
nPd53gO.jpg
 

Jcarter93

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Absolutely. When I first joined SMF, I was a noob to smoking and did a few butts without finishing sauce. Somebody or other convinced me to try adding a finishing sauce after it was pulled. I did, and was immediately converted. I keep a text file of the recipe I use on my phone just in case I need it if I can't get to one of my PCs I have it saved on.
You've convinced me on finishing sauce, can I get the recipe?
 

DougE

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You've convinced me on finishing sauce, can I get the recipe?
I got it here on SMF. I'm not sure who originated the recipe, but I'm sure the original post that I got it from is still over in the pork section somewhere.

1 Cup Cider Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning
1 Teaspoon Course Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

Randomly squirt this over warm freshly pulled Pork, then kind of mix it up with gloved hands. This adds very little heat (despite the Red Pepper) and mellows out the stronger, gamier parts of the Shoulder. The Vinegar also helps break it down even more for some REAL juicy pork.
 
Last edited:

zwiller

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Many ways to get good results with PP. There are 2 popular finishing sauces here. The above is known as SoFlaQuers. The other is Chef JJ's. I've made both and prefer the latter. https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t...shing-sauce-for-pulled-pork.51933/#post-21088

Another popular idea is to use a little apple juice and a good rub as a finish sauce of sorts. If you do not have Jeff's rub and sauce recipes, you should. Make the sauce for sure. It is totally pro and sauce folks will love it. I don't like sauce for mine but I make both ChefJJs and Jeff's for parties.

Another method is to inject and what I like to do but you need gear to do it and probably do not have handy. Do not be intimidated. Pulled pork is well known to be very forgiving and tasty no matter what, just make sure you get up to 205F IT or so to ensure complete breakdown so it's tender.
 

thirdeye

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I got it here on SMF. I'm not sure who originated the recipe, but I'm sure the original post that I got it from is still over in the pork section somewhere.

1 Cup Cider Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning
1 Teaspoon Course Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

Randomly squirt this over warm freshly pulled Pork, then kind of mix it up with gloved hands. This adds very little heat (despite the Red Pepper) and mellows out the stronger, gamier parts of the Shoulder. The Vinegar also helps break it down even more for some REAL juicy pork.
6vZ6Kv8.jpg
The Eastern North Carolina mops and sauces are probably the Grandpappy of pork sauces., and super simple to make with only 4 or 5 ingredients. The oldest recipe I have has water as an ingredient because when this style of sauce became popular, vinegar did not have the standard 5% acidity like it does now. Some vinegars in the day were very strong and needed to be toned down with water. And like the recipe you posted, a popular adder in the last 50 years is adding some cider vinegar, or a little sugar which has made this sauce much more popular.

It's always been very common to serve pickled vegetables with barbecue, and a lot of the cole slaw recipes for pulled pork sandwiches have vinegar for the 'twang'. And one more twist on the vinegar front is adding some pickle juice to your basting (or spray) on both pork and beef.
 

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